Read time: 1 minute 25 seconds

The people who need services most are often the people who find them hardest to access.

People may not have a choice when using an online services, so it’s important they work for everyone.

Think about digital access from the start

In 2015, there were 4.3 million (or about 1 in 5) Australians living with disability and 3.5 million Australians aged 65 years and over.

But good accessibility practices don’t just apply to older Australians or people with a permanent, temporary and situational​ disability:

  • 28% of Australians live in regional and remote areas
  • 26% of people living in Australia are born overseas
  • 46% of Australian adults had low literacy skills

Different needs, different times

All of us will have different needs at different times and in different circumstances, for example:

  • a person with vision impairment who requires a screen reader to navigate or contribute to a web page
  • older people with changing abilities due to ageing
  • users of mobile devices
  • people with “temporary disability” such as a broken arm or lost glasses
  • people using a slow internet connection
  • people using limited or expensive bandwidth or live in regional areas
  • people using older internet devices that may not be running the latest software versions
  • people whose first language isn't English
  • people in a situational crisis - for example: needing emergency support

Everyone benefits

We benefit everyone by ensuring online services meet standards set under the Web Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

Thinking about this from the beginning will help you:

  • make sure that no one is excluded
  • increase the visibility of your online content
  • find out earlier if any parts of your service aren’t accessible - problems cost a lot less to fix if you find them early

Simulators

Experience the web as a person with a permanent, temporary and situational​ disability. The following tools provide a great introduction:

Supporting resources

Next page: The whole team's job

Last update: 21 August 2019, editorial review.